Associate Professor of Music
Director, Berea College Folk Roots Ensemble
Director, Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music
At Berea College since 2011
Presser Hall, 403
Tues: 2:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Thur: 9 – 9:30 a.m.
Fri: 1:30 – 2:00 p.m. 3 – 5:00 p.m.
- APS/MUS 224 (Mon/Wed/Fri: 10:40 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.)
- MUS 130K (Tue: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
- APS/MUS 224 (Mon/Wed/Fri: 10:40 am – 11:50 am)
- MUS 130K A (Tue: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
- Monday: 1:00-2:00, 2:30-3:00, 4:00-5:00
- Tuesday: 11:00-12:00, 3:00 performance class
- Wednesday: 1:30-2:30, 5:00 jam
- Thursday: 9:00-10:00, 11:00-12:00, 5:00-6:00
- B.S. in Music Education, Montclair State College , Montclair, NJ.
- M.M. in French horn performance, Manhattan School of Music.
- Certificate, National Orchestral of New York.
- Certificate, Institute of Children’s Literature.
Honors and Awards
- Two-time member of the Geraldine R. Dodge Master Teacher Collaborative, 1993, 2000
- Member of Nishuane School arts staff, recognized as one of the top 15 arts programs in America by the US Department of Education, 1990
- Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship recipient, Berea College, 2012, 2015
- Winner of Puffin Grant for production of album, Alternative Medicine, 2008
- Winner of Falcon Ridge “New Folk” competition, 1992
- Runner-Up, American Songwriter competition, 2001
- Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship 2012 and 2015
- Winner, Spoken Word Category, Women of Appalachia Project 2018-19
- Kentucky Foundation for Women grant 2018-19
- Winner, 2020 Kentucky History Award
- MUS 335: Methods and Materials for Teaching Elementary Music
- MUS 326: Vocal Methods
- EDS 330: Extended School Experience (Junior Practicum)
- EDS 481: Seminar in Student Teaching • EDS 482: Secondary Student Teaching (p-12 Student Teaching Supervision)
- MUA 105-400: Applied Lessons in Piano, Appalachian Instruments, and French Horn
- MUS/APS 224: Appalachian Music
- MUS 130K: Folk-Roots Ensemble
- MUS 146: Songwriting from the Roots (summer)
- MUS 128S: The Complete Performer (summer)
- Traditional, folk, and world music
- NAFME (formerly MENC)
- Appalachian Studies Association
- International Horn Society
- New York Folklore Society
- New Jersey Songwriter’s Circle (founder)
Books, Papers, Recordings and Publications
- Katherine Jackson French: Kentucky’s Forgotten Ballad Collector, biography. Author. (University Press of Kentucky, to be published spring 2020)
- English-Scottish Ballads from the Hills of Kentucky by Katherine Jackson French, book. Editor. (Berea College, to be published spring 2020)
- My Curious and Jocular Heroes by Loyal Jones, book. Music transcriptions. (University of Illinois Press, 2017)
- Music for brass ensemble, published in the Solid Brass Series. Arranger. (Trigram Press)
- For Real: The Songs of Bob Franke, songbook. Music Editor. (Folk Project Press)
- For the Beauty of the Earth, songbook. Editor-in-Chief. (Folk Project Press)
As a horn player
- A Solid Brass Christmas (Musical Heritage Society, 1986)
- Solid Brass at the Opera (Dorrian, 1988)
- Christmas With Solid Brass, CD. Performer (Dorrian, 1990)
- A Dorrian Sampler, volume 2 (Dorrian)
- English-Scottish Ballads from the Hills of Kentucky by Katherine Jackson French (available spring 2020)
- Melodicism, with A.J. Bodnar. (Duvoo Music, 2013)
- Lift the Latch and Let Us Come In, with A.J. Bodnar. (Duvoo Music, 2013)
- Water in the Desert (Duvoo Music (ep), 2010)
- A Home in the Catskills, with A.J. Bodnar. (Duvoo Music, 2010)
- Hot Merchandise, with Illegal Contraband (Duvoo Music, 2010)
- Alternative Medicine, with A.J. Bodnar. (Vane Pig Music, 2007)
- Trees of Life – Steve Schuch, backup musician (Night Heron Music, 2001)
- Salesman -Dave Kleiner, backup musician (CD Baby, 2001)
- A Big Jeff Halloween, backup musician (Big Jeff Music, 1998)
- Playmates, with A.J. Bodnar. (Vane Pig Music, 1997)
- New Jersey Songwriter’s Circle: Exit 135, compilation (What Exit? Music, 1993)
- Fast Folk: Songs From the Garden State, compilation (Fast Folk, vol 6 no 7, 1992; Smithsonian Folkways)
- And You’re Not Alone, backup musician – Patrick Regan (1992)
- A Single Hope (Kitestring Music, 1991)
- The Dance – Ellen Stapenhorst, backup musician (KiNote Productions, 1988)
- As Live as She Gets (Kitestring Music, 1987)
- Interviews with traditional musicians Elizabeth Laprelle, Scott Ainslie, Reggie Harris, Colleen Cleveland, and Jeff Davis. To be donated to the Hutchins Library Archives, 2019.
- “Katherine Jackson French,” Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship study. Study of early ballad collector Katherine Jackson French and her relationship with Berea College, 2014-2015.
- “Mountain to Mountain” – Berea College, Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship study. Comparison of music of the Catskill Mountains with that of Southern Appalachia, 2012.
- “The Depth of The Well” (accepted into the collection of the New York Historical Association). With students at Cherry Valley Springfield Public School. An oral history project of traditional music of the Northern Catskill Mountains, 2008-2010.
- “Kentucky Ballads” – Presented a three-day class on ballads of Kentucky at the TradMad Fest at historic Pinewoods in Plymouth, MA. 2019.
- “Honor is Her Due” – Keynote address on Katherine Jackson French at the centennial celebration of the Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport, LA. 2019.
- “Ballads” – Presentation at Eastern Kentucky University, 2019. (with A.J. Bodnar)
- “Lasting Impressions from Cecil Sharp’s 1917 English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians” – Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music, 2017.
- “Untying the Tough Knots” – Presentation on the life of early ballad collector Katherine Jackson French and her relationship with Berea College, presented at Berea College, 2015.
- “The Red Rose and the Briar” – A comparison of the ballads of Katherine Jackson French and Cecil Sharp, presented at the Appalachian Studies Association Conference, 2015
- “Mountain to Mountain” – Fellowship presentation, Berea College, comparison of music of the Catskill Mountains with that of Southern Appalachia, 2012.
- “Catskill Folk Music” – State University of New York at Oneonta, 2010; Old Songs Festival, Altamont, NY, 2010
Twice a member of the Geraldine R. Dodge Master Teacher Collaborative, Elizabeth DiSavino taught general, vocal, and instrumental music in public and private schools for 29 years. A former student of music education innovator Bennett Reimer, Ms. DiSavino joined the faculty of Berea College as Assistant Professor of Music and Music Education in 2011.
Ms. DiSavino performed as a freelance French hornist in New York for ten years and won concerto competitions with the South Orange Symphony and the Metropolitan Y Orchestra. She served as hornist and arranger for the 10-piece brass chamber group, Solid Brass, who recorded three albums, an NJN TV special, and toured Canada and the U.S. during her tenure. Some of her arrangements as recorded by Solid Brass have been played across the country and in Germany, Austria, Australia, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, and New Zealand, and are published by Trigram Press. Professor DiSavino had the privilege of playing under the batons of some of the 20th century’s greatest conductors, including Zubin Mehta, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, Loren Maezel, and James Levine. Ms. DiSavino also worked as an accompanist in the New York-metropolitan area and in upstate New York.
Professor DiSavino has a long-standing interest in songwriting and is a winner of the Falcon Ridge New Folk competition and runner-up in the American Songwriting competition. The Women of Appalachia Project recognized her song, “That Esau Bed” about the systematic sexual subjugation of women in West Virginia coal towns, in the Spoken Word Category in 2018. Founder and former leader of the New Jersey Songwriter’s Circle, she has recorded two solo albums of original music, five albums of original and traditional music with husband and partner A.J. Bodnar, has had her music played on NPR, and may be found on several compilations including Fast Folk: Songs From the Garden State on Smithsonian Folkways. Also a practitioner of traditional, folk, and roots music, Ms. DiSavino has been a faculty member for twenty years at the summer folk arts school Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster, Maryland.
Professor DiSavino and A.J. Bodnar have performed at festivals and other venues across the country. The duo researched traditional music of the Catskill Mountains and parlayed that into an album, A Home in the Catskills in 2010. This research became the basis of their 2012 Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship project, “Mountain to Mountain,” a comparison of traditional music of the Catskills with that of Southern Appalachia. Professor DiSavino received a second Hutchins Library Sound Archives Fellowship to research the life of early ballad collector Katherine Jackson French and her relationship with Berea College. Her book on Dr. French, entitled Katherine Jackson French: Kentucky’s Forgotten Ballad Collector, won the 2020 Kentucky History Award as part of a trilogy of work that also included a CD and the printing of a commemorative edition of Jackson French’s ballads published through Berea College. The work was the subject of a feature on “All Things Considered” on National Public Radio.